You’ve had a conflict with another person. Things may have gotten out of control and both sides are hurt. You may think the other person is at fault or at least at greater fault. At one point someone suggests you apologize and you reject that notion. That person then says to you, “be the bigger person” and you reluctantly decide to make the first move towards resolution.
Chances are that resolution wasn’t as successful as you would’ve liked. In fact, it may have even made things worse and you might be wondering why.
When you label yourself ‘bigger’, you are -by default- labeling them ‘smaller’ and it immediately sets up an energetic power struggle. “Bigger” is a relative term, which means it has no meaning without reference to something “smaller”. Energetically this is communicated through any interaction then.
You continue the conflict (power struggle) by putting the other person down energetically and with your language. You can’t help it. If being the bigger person is your motivation then all action from that place will be tainted. Can you feel the difference between these two ‘apologies’?
I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt. I’m sorry you felt that way and that you took what I said wrong.
I’m sorry. I never intended for your feelings to get hurt and I apologize that what I said caused you pain.
Can you feel the difference in the energy?!
The first one is passive-aggressive and is pretty typical of someone who is coming from a bigger/smaller place.
While we are not responsible for how someone else feels, we are accountable for our actions and our actions impact others whether we intend for them to or not. I think it is important to understand the intent of our actions, realize there can be miscommunication even with the best of intentions and there need not be ‘fault’ assigned, when accepting accountability. Just clear transparent communication.
If you can’t come to a conflict resolution open hearted with no power struggle strings, then you are not ready for conflict resolution. Wait until you can come to the table with an open heart.
Unless/until you can come with an open heart, the resolution won’t have a solid foundation for a conflict free future and the only point to conflict resolution, is to build a conflict free future. This can’t be done if egos are running amok and the ego is surely running amok if the only way you can think about doing the ‘right’ thing is to consider yourself the bigger person.
Conflict resolution isn’t about getting one over on another. It isn’t about proving anything to anyone. Its about clearing energy from your heart center and improving the vibration between two (or maybe more) parties. Its only about ‘winning’ if both parties are winning. It isn’t about being a better person than the other, merely a better version of your self.
Here’s the thing…
Conflict resolution isn’t necessary unless you create conflict. There is actually a way to live your life in such a way to minimize or even eliminate conflict in a healthy way.
I can hear your disbelief. “Conflict is a part of life” you think, but it isn’t. Conflict, by definition is a “serious and protracted disagreement or argument”. Not seeing eye to on a topic isn’t an automatic conflict. It’s when people believe there is one ‘right’ perspective and endeavor to impose that on others, demanding agreement, that conflict ensues. Simple seeing things differently is not conflict, its perspective.
Now, here are four steps to live your life to minimize if not eliminate conflict healthfully.
- Let go of winning.
- Disagreements are not automatic conflicts.
- Conflict resolution does not equal confrontation.
- Shift from the negative to the positive.
Let go of winning
When you are aligned you realize there is no ‘right or wrong’. There is what resonates with you and what does not. You cannot speak for another on the subject of resonating. What resonates with you may resonate with another, but you can never know if it resonates in the same way because neither of you can know the experience of the other! All you can do is trust your inner self, when you are most connected to Spirit to determine what resonates with you. The goal is not to win but to expand!
Disagreements are not automatic conflicts
Speaking to one another with respect and understanding, focusing as much on understanding another as we do on being understood by another is primary to eliminating conflict from your life. Transparency means being authentic without the fear of reprisal or harm. Approaching a problem from two different perspectives is a wonderful way to find the best solution. When you eliminate the need to win from a disagreement, you are automatically opened up to explore the limitless possibilities of outcomes and conflict isn’t even a ‘thing’.
Conflict Resolution does not equal Confrontation
If you do end up in conflict and find yourself approaching conflict resolution, it is important to understand that conflict resolution does not equal confrontation. Confrontation is hostile, conflict resolution is not. It can be uncomfortable (remember what we said about uncomfortable in the intimidation article) but it not hostile. True Conflict resolution, by its very name, will focus on the resolution not the conflict. Whereas confrontation has the aggressiveness built in, defenses are up and an implied right/wrong dynamic exists.
Shift from negative to positive
I’ve saved the first for last. Yes, you read that right. The very first thing you need to do to eliminate conflict from your life is to shift from the negative to the positive. Why did I save it for last? Because if you remember nothing else from this post, I want you to remember this…it is the single most important and powerful thing you can do for the betterment of your life. I have many people confess to me that they wish to be more positive but find themselves stuck in the negative. That is understandable. You were taught to be negative, you weren’t born that way. So, you have to unlearn it in a matter of speaking and relearn to be positive. There is one simple two step trick to making the switch.
The first step is to be aware of your negativity. Pay attention to your thoughts and your words. When you find yourself focusing on the negative, even if it is simply how something didn’t live up to your expectations, notice it. Be aware that you are focusing on the ‘lack’ of something rather than the ‘gift’ of something.
Once you have gotten used to noticing your negativity, the second step is to double up on the positive. What does this mean? For every negative thing you think or say, you counter with two positives. Say you are out to dinner with friends and the waiter forgets the tea you ordered. You find yourself feeling irritated and make a snide remark to your dinner companions. You hear it. Now you find two positive things to say about the waiter. Yes, say them out loud, after all you complained out loud, didn’t you? Maybe the waiter brought you extra rolls or had a pleasant demeanor.
Making this change is conscious, which means it will take effort to 1) notice the negative and 2) double up the positive. However, the shift you will be making will cascade out to all parts of your life. You will be more conscious of how your mind works and whether or not your attention is on the negative of life or the positive (aka the lack or the gifts). Remember that life will bring you whatever you purchase with your attention. (It’s a little like Amazon.com that way!)
All right, this has been sitting in my drafts folder for too long now, so I’m going to hit publish and know that it is on it’s way to those who need to hear this message the most.
As always, remember…
I love you!
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